As everyone knows, the real reason we have mass shootings is the deadly effects of video game addiction, and so to some Fox News cretins, Sunday's mass shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, obviously had far more to do with the video games than with gun culture. Because duh, can't you see cause and effect, you silly liberals?

Here's Fox's Martha MacCallum discussing our ongoing Youth Crisis with retired political science prof Carol Swain and Certified English Fella Steve Hilton, a onetime political strategist for former British POTUS David Cameron. You know, experts in criminology and stuff.

We especially like that MacCallum kicks off the discussion by acknowledging "researchers say that [playing video games] does not lead to violent behavior," then points out the indisputable fact that several recent massacres were perpetrated by young men who played lots of video games. When you're talking about males under 30, this is a bit like pointing out that 100 percent of shooters are known to have consumed water and food in the days leading up to their crimes. So what can we make of that link which researchers say isn't there?

Dr. Swain led off the analysis:

I think that playing those violent video games clearly influences behavior. And we know that in the military, they sometimes use video games to break down people's inhibitions, and so there's no way our children are not being affected by violent video games and movies that they watch. And all of this, these random shootings, I think it's evidence of a breakdown in morality in our society and people not understanding right from wrong.

Swain pushes the "No Southern Strategy, Dems are still the KKK" lie, so you know she knows psychology, not to mention right from wrong. Also, let's point out once more that the game being played in that Jacksonville tournament was Madden 19, a foot-the-ball game, not a shooter, so we're not sure how that breaks down anyone's inhibitions to kill. Maybe it would lead to florid play-by-play reenactments, or possibly kneeling during the National Anthem.

MacCallum then repeats the research findings that video games don't cause violence before asking Hilton about why all these video games are driving young people to kill. Hilton was simply astonished at all the video game murder! You see, the video game industry is actually bigger than the movie industry, which most people don't even realize, which is why it has such a pernicious widespread influence!

This is where we'd point out that if video games caused murder, you'd expect murder rates to have increased with the popularity of gaming since the 1990s -- instead, they've declined, along with other violent crime. Oh, but maybe mass shootings have increased! Possibly, although there's a case to be made the overall rate has remained steady, but the shootings have gotten deadlier. Mind you, there's no evidence at all to suggest all mass shooters play video games, but they may catch violence virally from the youngs who do.

Hilton then offered his expertise from having researched this matter as an advisor to David Cameron. You see, the actual content of the video games doesn't matter; it's the medium itself that literally makes all the players crazy in their brains, so it doesn't matter that this was a f'ball game.

The top neuroscientists now can actually show that extended exposure to these video games, all the overstimulation that comes with the games, the loud noises and the colors and the bangs and all that, it literally rewires your brain and it makes it harder for children who are doing this to control their emotions. That's exactly what is a factor in these things because what it leads to is overresponding to a slight or to some kind of situation, if you didn't have this stimulation you could let it go, if you overrespond it leads to conflict and violence in the real world.

Isn't that a beautiful explanation that sounds like common sense but has no evidence behind it at all? By that logic, Japan, China, and South Korea, which all have huge video game sales (and complaints about "addiction"), should have similarly high numbers of mass shootings. If only we could explain how the USA is different.

Again, if we had such an epidemic of brain rewiring, we'd probably see a hell of a lot more shootings than we already do. But Hilton's glib generalizing fits nicely with the eternal narrative of Young People Are Dangerous.

Still, Hilton tut-tuts, mustn't we DO something about these hellish brain-rewiring machines?

I mean, look, when we think of other risks to children and their health, for example smoking, we actually take action and we ban those things for young people, and I think that there's a role for that now [...]

For things like overuse of smartphones and games, we can step in and say 'This is not supposed to be how kids should be raised,' and we can do something about it.

Hell yes! Things that harm kids should be banned, because cigarettes! And the things that harm lots of kids are video games, especially when kids find a Nintendo Switch in Mom's purse and start playing Zelda, or when two kids are goofing around with a PlayStation 4 they think is unplugged, with tragic consequences.

MacCallum was, understandably, aghast at how all the laxity around video games has been tolerated for so long:

Yeah, I think you're so right. I think people used to smoke cigarettes at 13, 14 years old, now you've got people using this stuff all day long at those young ages and I think there's going to come a time in our society when we look back and say, 'Can you believe we let kids play those games for hours and hours in their cars, in their bedrooms, in the basement?' Something we really need to wake up to.

Perhaps someday we'll all finally do something about these deadly machines. One can only hope.

Gosh, we sure hope Fox gets right on explaining how many hours a day 71-year-old Tommy Smith, of Memphis, plays video games. On Sunday evening, Smith was charged with reckless endangerment after he shot at some kids who argued with him when he told them to get off his lawn. Provoked to violence by a seven-year old who sassed back, Smith was no doubt unable to control his emotions because his brain had been rewired by video games. It's the only possible explanation -- he had a permit for the gun, after all.

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[Media Matters / NYT / Politico / WREG-TV]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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